Volkswagen and Audi, which already face hundreds of lawsuits over a scheme to falsify diesel emissions, now face a class action filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The automakers are accused of concealing defective timing belt tensioning systems in their vehicles. The defect can cause vehicles to lose power at any time, placing occupants at risk. The suit claims that, based on pre-production testing, design failure mode analysis and consumer complaints to dealers, the Defendants knew of the premature failure of the tensioning system in class members’ vehicles, but fraudulently concealed them from class members. In addition, it’s alleged in the suit that the Defendants knowingly omitted material facts about the defective tensioning system and its corresponding safety risk, and misrepresented to buyers the standard, quality or grade of class vehicles.
It’s alleged further in the complaint that owners whose vehicles suffered failure of the timing belt tensioning system have had to pay thousands of dollars to make repairs or to replace the entire engine. The Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants did not reimburse class members for failures that occurred outside the vehicle’s warranty periods. There are claims in the suit on behalf of a nationwide class of owners or lessees of 2008 through 2013 Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with 2.0L TSI or 2.0L TFSI engines. Also, there is a subclass of New Jersey residents who owned or leased such vehicles.
On behalf of the nationwide class, there are claims in the suit for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of express and implied warranty, violation of the Moss-Magnuson Warranty Act and unjust enrichment. There is also a claim for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act on behalf of the subclass of New Jersey owners.
The engine with the faulty timing chain tensioner was sold in various Volkswagen Beetle, CC, EOS, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Passat, Golf R32, Rabbit, Routan, Tiguan and Toureg and Audi A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, TT, Q3, Q5 and Q7 models. Volkswagen has faced other suits over timing chain tensioners in the past, and it is also named in 763 suits that have been consolidated in the Northern District of California by the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation over allegedly rigged emissions systems on cars with diesel engines.
Source: Insurance Journal